(April 4, 2022) — The community is invited to join Arts!Longview on Thursday, April 7, for the nonprofit organization’s first quarterly ArtWalk of 2022. With more than 140 artists participating, this week’s event is set to be the largest in ArtWalk’s 14-year history.
“Over the past 14 years, ArtWalk has become a signature event in our community and we are proud of the growth it has experienced. ArtWalk benefits our local artists who get to showcase their work for free; it benefits our local businesses as it brings new visitors through their doors; and it’s great for our community as a whole as it brings us all together to support the arts,” said Christina Cavazos, executive director of Arts!Longview.
ArtWalk is a free, self-guided tour of downtown businesses exhibiting and selling art. In 2021, ArtWalk experienced significant growth and drew record attendance with thousands of people visiting downtown Longview. Cavazos said she expects Thursday’s ArtWalk to again draw thousands of people to downtown.
“There’s a tremendous amount of talented artists in our community and the public enjoys connecting with those artists,” Cavazos said. “When people attend ArtWalk, not only does it put them in touch with our artistic community but it also gives them a chance to talk one-on-one with local artists and learn the stories behind their artwork. That connection is so meaningful and an invaluable experience.”
With the growth and popularity of ArtWalk increasing, the footprint of the event has expanded this year. New downtown businesses, such as Woolley G’s which opened earlier this year at 306 E. Tyler St., are hosting artists and Ollie’s Skate Shop owner Zahck Israel is opening up his private art studio at 319 E. Cotton St. for an open house.
Additionally, Arts!Longview is also bringing new features to ArtWalk this year. Parking is available in two lots located at the intersection of Center Street and Cotton Street. In partnership with the City of Longview’s Community Services division, golf carts will be available with drivers to help transport visitors to ArtWalk.
In addition to artists, several musicians and food trucks also are scheduled to attend.
Cavazos said one aspect she’s most excited about in this week’s ArtWalk is the involvement of student visual and performing artists.
Benjamin Shepherd, who owns Shepherd Guitar Studio, is bringing several of his student musicians to perform on the stage in the Pelaia Plaza J.T. Smith Sculpture Garden at the corner of Tyler and Fredonia streets. Meanwhile, Amanda Tilley – who serves as the middle and upper school art teacher at Trinity School of Texas – has arranged to showcase artwork by her students on the sidewalk in front of R. Lacy on Tyler Street.
“We are excited to engage with young, up-and-coming artists in our community – both visual student artists who are learning a variety of mediums and young performing artists who are practicing a variety of music,” Cavazos said. “We hope that by giving students a platform to showcase themselves it will further reinforce their love and passion for the arts. It also gives our community a chance to meet the next generation of artists.”
ArtWalk is scheduled from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in downtown Longview. It is free to attend. For more information, visit www.artslongview.org or find Arts!Longview on Facebook at www.facebook.com/artslongview.